The Planning Department assists with planning, zoning, community and economic development, tourism, recreation and transportation planning, historic preservation, grant writing, project implementation, special project research and development, strategic plans, etc. The Planning Department serves as staff for the Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Tourism Advisory Board. The Planning Department is also a clearinghouse for a variety of data ranging from geography, population, education, income, employment, housing, traffic counts, and more.
Zoning is the basic means that governments implement to control the uses and physical development of land. Zoning is a tool used to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of citizens. For the purpose of promoting the health, safety, convenience, or general welfare of the public, Chapter 29 of the Town Code has been adopted as the Zoning Ordinance of the Town, together with the Zoning Map. Chapter 29 has been designed to:
- Provide adequate light, air, the convenience of access, and safety from fire, flood, and other dangers.
- Reduce or prevent congestion in the public streets.
- Facilitate the creation of a convenient, attractive, and harmonious community.
- Expedite the provision of adequate police and fire protection, disaster evacuation, civil defense, transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks, forests, playgrounds, recreational facilities, airports, and other public requirements.
- Protect against the destruction of, or encroachment on, historic areas.
- Protect against one or more of the following: Overcrowding of land; undue density of population in relation to the community facilities, existing or available; obstruction of light and air; danger and congestion in travel and transportation; or loss of life, health, or property from fire, flood, panic or other dangers.
- Encourage economic development activities that provide desirable employment and enlarge the tax base.